Opponents of I-405 Toll Lanes to Present OCTA With Alternative Plan

As the debate over placing high-occupancy toll lanes on the I-405 freeway rages on, supporters of a non-toll plan are scheduled to advocate for their proposal on Monday.

A coalition of Orange County city officials who oppose state plans to put toll lanes on the I-405 freeway announced a competing proposal Thursday night that calls for adding one general-purpose and one carpool lane in each direction.

City officials called on officials and residents to advocate for the plan at Monday’s meeting of the Regional Planning and Highways Committee of the Orange County Transportation Authority or OCTA.

Caltrans officials have enthusiastically supported the toll lanes option, saying it’s the fastest way to move people and goods on the North County section of the 405. They deny they are backing the toll roads as a way to raise money.

A wide range of local officials and residents, meanwhile, argue that construction of the lanes would violate the promise to voters for Measure M2, the county’s half-percent sales tax, among other concerns.

It looks to be uphill battle for proponents of the alternative plan.

On Monday’s agenda, OCTA staff is recommending that board members direct them to continue building only one general use lane in each direction.

The meeting starts Monday at 10:30 a.m. at OCTA headquarters in Orange.

Click here for the staff report.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.